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Jason Levine
Premium
join:2001-07-13
USA

Photo Disaster Need Help With Recovery

We went to see Toy Story on Ice today. I took along my new DSLR. During the halftime break, I noticed my camera's batteries were low. No problem, I packed 3 extra sets of rechargables. Popped in a new set and... those were low. I took a few photos with those then tried another set and another set. Both low also. I managed to snap a couple other shots but as one shot was saving, my camera turned off. I put the original batteries in (hoping they'd have some charge left) and I was told that my memory card wasn't formatted.

I shut the camera down (did *NOT* format the card) and waited until we got home. When I put the card in my computer, I was still told it wasn't formatted.

So what do I do now? Are the photos gone for good? Do I format the card? Is there any hope for recovery? Any help would be greatly appreciated.
--
-Jason Levine


nklb
Premium
join:2000-11-17
Ann Arbor, MI
kudos:2
try one of the many utilities to recover the photos. I seem to remember one called photorec that has a very good reputation: »www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/PhotoRec

But yes, do not do anything with this flash card; if you can, I would do a byte-for-byte backup of it from a unix system with dd before attempting any recovery.

The good news that almost certainly your pictures will be recoverable, unless there is a major hardware error with the memory card, which I believe to be unlikely in this case.

chandom

join:2001-05-23
Tallahassee, FL
reply to Jason Levine
I have had success using PhotoRescue (Expert version) »www.datarescue.com/photorescue/

Looks like the demo version will give you a preview of what can be recovered.

This program does have the ability to do a byte by byte dump of the card.


49528867
Premium
join:2010-04-16
Fort Lauderdale, FL
kudos:3

1 recommendation

reply to Jason Levine
said by Jason Levine:

I managed to snap a couple other shots but as one shot was saving, my camera turned off.

Sounds like it (the camera) failed to properly close the file before powering down, in the future you might want to stick with drycells as their discharge curve is considerably less steep than the discharge curves of rechargeable batteries allowing the camera a better chance (once it detects a low battery condition) of doing a graceful shutdown versus a file trashing crash.

Wayne
--
A tree full of trained monkeys have my back.


Jason Levine
Premium
join:2001-07-13
USA
reply to nklb
I tried that one last night and it recovered a bunch of photos. The bad news is that the photos it recovered were the ones for my digital photo frame, which I had deleted before going to Toy Story on Ice. No sign of the Toy Story shots though. :-(
--
-Jason Levine


Jason Levine
Premium
join:2001-07-13
USA
reply to 49528867
I have a bunch of Energizer Lithium that I meant to take with me but forgot to pack. Of course, I'm kicking myself now.
--
-Jason Levine


49528867
Premium
join:2010-04-16
Fort Lauderdale, FL
kudos:3
said by Jason Levine:

I have a bunch of Energizer Lithium that I meant to take with me but forgot to pack. Of course, I'm kicking myself now.

Alkaline would be best.

Wayne

--
A tree full of trained monkeys have my back.


Jason Levine
Premium
join:2001-07-13
USA
reply to Jason Levine
Using Zero Assumption Digital Image Recovery now and it's getting the deleted photo frame photos again. No sign of my Toy Story on Ice photos. :-(
--
-Jason Levine


49528867
Premium
join:2010-04-16
Fort Lauderdale, FL
kudos:3

1 recommendation

said by Jason Levine:

Using Zero Assumption Digital Image Recovery now and it's getting the deleted photo frame photos again. No sign of my Toy Story on Ice photos. :-(

Might I ask a dumb question? Has that camera ever written anything to that card that you where able to work with?

Wayne
--
A tree full of trained monkeys have my back.


badd
Premium
join:2001-10-04
De Queen, AR
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Windstream
reply to Jason Levine
Just my opinion but it sounds to me like a bad case of moisture getting into the camera due to condisation. Taking camera from warm to cold with out protection. That is just the way one of mine did when I first got into digital. If a new set of batterys does the same thing then I would say moisture which means camera is hosed. Hope I am wrong!!!!
--
Be good be kind be careful...Most of all be yourself!


Jason Levine
Premium
join:2001-07-13
USA
reply to 49528867
It's written to other cards that I've been able to work with. My last camera was able to write to write to that card just fine, but it was sitting (unused) in our digital photo frame for awhile.

Before the batteries died, I was able to preview the photos and browse through them, though. So I know the photos were saved prior to the crash.
--
-Jason Levine


Jason Levine
Premium
join:2001-07-13
USA
reply to badd
I'm sure this was batteries dying and not moisture. I was sitting in the same spot for quite awhile before the batteries died. The new set of batteries that I used were rechargables which I (foolishly in hindsight) assumed were fully charged right from the package.
--
-Jason Levine


nklb
Premium
join:2000-11-17
Ann Arbor, MI
kudos:2
reply to Jason Levine
If you could make a byte copy of the memory card and send it to me, I could try to find out what happened and maybe recover your photos. I can give you instructions if needed.

Silly question, but were you shooting in raw or in jpeg? (or both)
--
for all your Linux questions


Jason Levine
Premium
join:2001-07-13
USA
I was shooting in JPEG. How do I do a byte copy on Windows?
--
-Jason Levine


nklb
Premium
join:2000-11-17
Ann Arbor, MI
kudos:2
Honestly with Windows I am not certain; if you can, I would try it from a Linux live cd.

That being said, there may be a version of dd you can install for windows, or some other utility that can manage the feat. I'll google around and let you know if I find anything promising.


nklb
Premium
join:2000-11-17
Ann Arbor, MI
kudos:2
said by nklb:

That being said, there may be a version of dd you can install for windows, or some other utility that can manage the feat. I'll google around and let you know if I find anything promising.

Looks like there is a version of dd that can be found here: »www.chrysocome.net/dd

The syntax I would use under Linux, which you WILL have to modify for your environment, is as follows: dd if=/path/to/sdcard of=cardbackup.dd bs=1M

It looks like you can use "dd --list" to find the path to the memory card on your system.


Jason Levine
Premium
join:2001-07-13
USA
reply to Jason Levine
Ok, so I found a program that both finds and shows me previews of my lost photos ( »www.digital-camera-photo-recover ··· ware.php ). It costs $39 to get the non-eval version to save photos. My only problem is the file size. The photos are showing as somewhere between 28KB and 160KB. That sounds seriously off to me. Shouldn't a DSLR's photos be in the 2MB per photo range?



--
-Jason Levine


49528867
Premium
join:2010-04-16
Fort Lauderdale, FL
kudos:3

1 recommendation

said by Jason Levine:

[att=1]

Seems small, take another card and without changing any settings on your camera and shoot one shot to it and see what size the file is.

One of the recovery apps I use is Stellar Phoenix File Recovery and it shows files at the size they will be recovered to.

Also make the photo recovery is compatible with RAW files as those would be the primary ones to recover.

Wayne
--
A tree full of trained monkeys have my back.


Jodokast96
Stupid people really piss me off.
Premium
join:2005-11-23
Erial, NJ
kudos:2
reply to Jason Levine
Two things. First, when it's all said and done, make sure the firmware in the camera is current. Second, try looking for the pics under Linux. It's saved me a bunch of times.


nklb
Premium
join:2000-11-17
Ann Arbor, MI
kudos:2
reply to Jason Levine
said by Jason Levine:

My only problem is the file size. The photos are showing as somewhere between 28KB and 160KB. That sounds seriously off to me. Shouldn't a DSLR's photos be in the 2MB per photo range?

A couple of things could be the cause of this.

Either the filesystem is fragmented, and the size estimate shown is just the first fragment that the recovery program recognized,

or what you are seeing is the small preview jpeg that is embedded in the exif of the full jpeg.

My offer still stands, if you can get the byte copy of the image card. I'd be more than happy to take a look and see exactly what the state of it is. I have a pretty big interest in the forensics of such things.


49528867
Premium
join:2010-04-16
Fort Lauderdale, FL
kudos:3
reply to 49528867
Any good news?

Wayne


altermatt
Premium
join:2004-01-22
White Plains, NY
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
reply to 49528867
said by 49528867:

Sounds like it (the camera) failed to properly close the file before powering down, in the future you might want to stick with drycells as their discharge curve is considerably less steep

WOW, you may have cleared up a mystery for me as well. The same thing happened to me---batteries died quickly, and changing batteries didn't seem to help, so I shut down---and when I put the xd card in the computer reader, nada, "not formatted". Sounds very similar, and the explanation that perhaps the file didn't get closed properly sounds plausible. In my case (two years ago) I ended up reformatting since the pix on there weren't mission critical. Zero Assumption only found deleted files from it, not the current ones, just like Jason.

Will be following this thread eagerly to be better prepared for the next time. Any tips on preventing this, other than using non-rechargeables? I usually change batteries soon as they're low, but that didn't help the one time the problem occured.
--
The truth of a thing is the feel of it, not the think of it. -- Stanley Kubrick


49528867
Premium
join:2010-04-16
Fort Lauderdale, FL
kudos:3
said by altermatt:

Any tips on preventing this, other than using non-rechargeables? I usually change batteries soon as they're low, but that didn't help the one time the problem occurred.

That’s a tough call as the battery capacity monitor within the camera in the case of a rechargeable battery needs to be calibrated to the battery technology utilized and preferably should be able to communicate with the battery assembly.

The problem is in a non-communicating body such as the K-x is where to set the low battery warning and shutdown level, if it is too high the user will complain of short battery life and false low battery readings, conversely if it is set too low, as exampled, crashes and data loss can occur, then to add to the confusion the discharge curve of rechargeable batteries changes as they age hence the requirement for an interactive battery monitoring system.

It is a crapshoot to design a non-interactive system to work properly with older technologies such as Ni-Cad and Ni-MH and foolish to try with lithium.

Drycells have a predictable discharge curve and unlike rechargeable batteries such as Ni-Cad Ni-MH and lithium technology can continue to deliver enough amperage to perform a graceful shutdown long before before flat-lining, as such for maximum reliability I would recommend using dry-cells in the K-x when no loss or corruption of images is critical.

Wayne
--
A tree full of trained monkeys have my back.


Jodokast96
Stupid people really piss me off.
Premium
join:2005-11-23
Erial, NJ
kudos:2
Which reminds me Jason, did you change the battery type in the camera?


49528867
Premium
join:2010-04-16
Fort Lauderdale, FL
kudos:3
said by Jodokast96:

Which reminds me Jason, did you change the battery type in the camera?

Shouldn't a body be able to detect and confirm that upon the insertion of the batteries?

Wayne
--
A tree full of trained monkeys have my back.


Jason Levine
Premium
join:2001-07-13
USA
reply to 49528867
That program actually was Stellar Phoenix File Recovery.
--
-Jason Levine


Jason Levine
Premium
join:2001-07-13
USA
reply to nklb
I've been trying to get the byte copy utility working.

So far, I've tried the following commands:


When I run dd --list, this is what I get for my memory card:


Any suggestions?
--
-Jason Levine


Jason Levine
Premium
join:2001-07-13
USA
reply to 49528867
Nothing more, sadly. I won't be formatting this card or reusing it until I either get the photos off or completely give up trying.
--
-Jason Levine


Jodokast96
Stupid people really piss me off.
Premium
join:2005-11-23
Erial, NJ
kudos:2
Reviews:
·Verizon Online DSL
reply to 49528867
It does have an Auto Detect setting, but that's not to say it wasn't set to something else. And it wouldn't have other settings for no reason. I can't look into any further into the specifics of the setting without being late for work, but I'll check into it later this evening.


49528867
Premium
join:2010-04-16
Fort Lauderdale, FL
kudos:3

1 edit
reply to Jason Levine
said by Jason Levine:

Nothing more, sadly. I won't be formatting this card or reusing it until I either get the photos off or completely give up trying.

I would suggest you contact Pentax factory service today and see if they can shed some light on this problem and offer a solution including the recovery of those images their product trashed, this (the loss of captured images) in my opinion is a non-tolerable situation which they need to immediately address and solve under warranty.

You may also want to consider utilizing a backup body for mission critical work until this is resolved.

Wayne
--
A tree full of trained monkeys have my back.